Cognitive Status of Adult Growth Hormone (GH)-Deficient Patients and GH-Induced Neuropsychological Changes

Jan B. Deijen*, Lucia I. Arwert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


It is noted that growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in adults show a reduced sense of psychological well-being and are frequently found to have impaired cognitive functioning. It is also known that mood and cognitive functioning are positively related to the level of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), a serum marker for growth hormone (GH) status. More specifically, IGF-I levels appear to be related to cognitive status, short-term memory performance, and cognitive flexibility. GH substitution in GH-deficient patients improves cognitive functioning, as assessed by tasks measuring attention, memory, and perceptual motor skill. Moreover, GH treatment has been found to reduce the concentration of homovanillic acid, a dopamine metabolite, in cerebrospinal fluid. As the hippocampus is known to contain high levels of dopamine, this structure may be particularly affected by GH treatment. Involvement of the aforementioned brain areas in cognitive functions might explain the connection between GH treatment and neuropsychological functions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Somatotrophic Axis in Brain Function
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9780120884841
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005

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